With school sports starting right around the corner (if not already), it’s time to start mastering the art of action photography. Even if you don’t have children, it’s a great skill for any photographer to possess. However, getting the ideal shot can be difficult. When your subject is in motion, you have to be quick to capture the moment - but don't forget, technique is everything.
How can you take action shots like the professionals?
6 Tips to Capture The Perfect Action Shot
1. Plan Ahead
You can’t always tell when an action shot will happen, but if you’re shooting at a game or another event, you must be ready when an opportunity presents itself. Try placing your camera in Sports mode, which automatically adjusts settings to capture subjects in motion.
2. Focus on the Face
If you’re shooting a person in action, focus on the face, which acts as a focal point. In the end, even if the arms and legs are blurry, you want a face that’s in focus because expressions help tell a story.
3. Shoot in Short Bursts
Turn your camera to continuous high drive mode and start clicking! Shooting in short bursts allows your buffer to breathe and gives you more opportunity to catch a great shot. Try this technique: shoot in three shot bursts, take a quick break, shoot again.
4. Pan Your Camera
It may seem counterproductive to move your camera if the subject is moving, but this technique is a great way for taking focused action shots. When you move your camera, you’re actually matching the speed of the object, which creates a sharper image.
5. Shoot Early
There’s no need to set your alarm clock for this tip. When you press the shutter, there is normally a slight delay until the actual image is captured. Action shots happen quickly so try to compensate for the delay by shooting earlier than you think you should. It might take a few shots to get it right, but it’s worth the sharper image.
6. Pay Attention to Lighting
Depending on the time of day you’re shooting, you may need to adjust your ISO settings. Dim light requires a higher ISO while a lower ISO setting will help keep out blinding bright light. If necessary, manually adjust your aperture to let in more light. It will create a clearer shot.
Whether you’re planning on shooting pictures at your son’s school football game or a friend’s first marathon, it’s important to have an idea on how to master the technique of action shots. Those moments won’t happen again - and you don't want to miss them!
Do you have old prints hiding out in a closet or basement? Convert your pictures to DVD format and share your own sports experiences with your children!
Photo Credit: Flickr